Returning from a successful campaign against the Volsians, led by Tulus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) in the city of Corioles, Coriolanus is encouraged by his mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) and Senator Menenius (Brian Cox) to accept the office of Consul. He wins the approval of the Senate but now he must attempt to win over the commoners. They have recently been rioting in the streets demanding increased rations of grain. They blame Coriolanus for their plight. Coriolanus is openly contemptuous of them saying that they don’t deserve more as they did not do military service. Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus (James Nesbitt and Paul Jesson respectively), tribunes of Rome, turn the commoners against Coriolanus. He rails against them in a rage saying that the concept of popular rule is as allowing the ‘crows to peck the eagles.’ The tribunes condemn Coriolanus as a traitor and banish him from Rome.
Coriolanus leaves Rome and heads for the Volsian capital of Antium. To spite Rome, he offers to let Aufidius kill him. Instead, Aufidius convinces Coriolanus to lead an assault against Rome. When Coriolanus along with the Volsian army arrive at the gates of Rome both Menenius and Cominius (the general of the Roman army – played by John Kani) try to dissuade him but fail. Volumnia, along with others are sent to meet Coriolanus.
She successfully dissuades him and he signs a peace treaty with Rome. Aufidius feeling betrayed has him killed.
Coriolanus quitte Rome et se dirige pour Antium, la capitale Volsian. Pour être contrarier a Rome, il offre de laisser Aufidius lui tuer. Au lieu de cela, Aufidius convainc Coriolanus pour mener un assaut contre Rome. Lorsque Coriolanus avec l'armée de Volsian arrive aux portes de Rome, Menenius et Cominius (le général de l'armée Romaine – joué par John Kani) essayé de lui dissuader mais ils échouent. Volumnia, ainsi que d'autres sont envoyés à Coriolanus. Elle dissuade avec succès lui et qu'il signe un traité de paix avec Rome. Aufidius, se sentant trahie, tu Coriolanus.